AIM-listed and China-facing payments technology and data provider BNN Technology halted trading in its shares Monday and suspended UK and China CEOs Darren Mercer and Wei Qi.
A statement from the board of directors explained that the actions were necessary following unspecified but “serious allegations” by the group’s CFO Scott Kennedy, who resigned last Friday.
In a statement to the stock exchange, the company said the suspensions left it “without any executive directors or suitable senior executive management to provide appropriate oversight and control of the company’s operations, particularly its operations in China.”
Independent board members Lord Mancroft and Harry Keiley said BNN’s shares would remain suspended until interim executives were appointed.
“We are aware that this announcement will cause great concern to our shareholders,” Kelley said. “However, given the serious nature of these allegations and the source from which they have come, the independent committee feels it has no choice but to suspend the relevant individuals at this time.”
The statement advised that BNN is to commission an independent legal review of the allegations made by the group’s departing CFO.
The Financial Times reports that BNN is the latest AIM listed Chinese company to be embroiled in controversy, with several forced to quit the junior market after a 2015 crackdown on management standards by the regulator.
Our readers may recall that BNN was originally the Chinese-facing online lottery technology provider DJI Holdings. When the Chinese government clamped down on online lottery activity in 2015 the company re-invented itself as a payments solutions technology provider and rebranded to BNN Technologies.
Neither Mercer or Qi would comment when approached by the media on the allegations.